Thursday, February 3, 2011

Caramel, Cake & Dinner

Caramel:  My lack of patience caught up with me yesterday.  I knew that I hadn't cooked the ancho chile caramels quite up to firm ball stage, but my arm was tired of stirring and I am not ambidextrous.  So I poured them at about 242 degrees and waited until yesterday morning to see what happened.  Soft caramels.  Not that soft caramels are a bad thing, but I also noticed they didn't have the depth of flavor, that almost burnt sugar caramely goodness.  I wondered if I put them back in the pan and cooked them up to 245, would they firm up?  They did.  A little more than I would have liked, but that's the chance I took.  Some I'll leave as caramels, but I think with the chile, this will be awesome caramel sauce.  And the goat's milk toffee chips?  Well, those went into a pretty bail jar and sat on the dining room table.  I wasn't thinking about them at all when the sun came out today.  I now have a jar of melted caramel that will later firm up and be impossible to remove.  More caramel sauce, perhaps?  Whatever its form, it will not go to waste.

One of my many favorite ways to enjoy caramel sauce.

Cake:  Tonight I'm going to the divine Ms. Terry's house for dinner.  I am a most willing guinea pig for a recipe she has been wanting to try.  I practically demanded to bring dessert and she graciously agreed.  Since she indicated it's a vegetarian meal, I thought dessert should follow suit.  I've toyed with a vegan chocolate cake recipe to make chocolate, fig and port cupcakes.  Since this was an experiment, I allowed ample time in case I needed a Plan B.  As they're not too impressive, Plan B was implemented.  The coconut cupcakes were topped with coconut lime buttercream which fortunately I had from Monday since I'm now out of butter.  But here's another dilemma:  I have a friend to vehemently hates coconut and I can never remember who it is.  What if it's Terry?  So I've decided to take a few of each cupcake flavor and may the best cupcake win. 

The rather disappointing chocolate, fig and port cupcakes.
Dinner was lovely:  a great friend and great food.  Can you get any better than that?  Terry made "Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good" from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  It was absolutely delicious and I'm so very happy to have been able to bring some home.  Ms. Terry is a far better cook than I ever will be and I am not one bit ashamed to admit that.

I am not going to be at all upset to eat this again for lunch tomorrow.
And Ms. Terry is not the friend who despises coconut.  The coconut cupcakes were the hands down winner.

1 comment:

  1. First off, this picture with the apple and the caramel is amazing! How fun to have you visit last night, it was good for my spirit to see you again. Nothing better than two foodies experimenting on one another! Yum. The cupcakes are almost gone - I had to share them at work, and the caramels are safely tucked away Wayne and I to enjoy this weekend. Thank you for all the gifts, it was like winning the lottery :) Hmm. Now for the next experiment ...


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